Tag Archive for 8mm

50 and still fabulous! ! Happy 50th Birthday Super 8 Film

 

written by  Rhonda Vigeant, Director of Marketing, Pro8mm, Author, Speaker, Radio Show Host, Home Movie Educator © May 5, 2015

 Listen to the audio version of this blog via my podcast, Listen to the podcast

 

Listen to our Radio Show Live Thursday at 4 PST/7EST

Listen to our Radio Show Live Thursday at 4 PST/7EST

 

 As the beloved Super 8 film format turns 50 years old this month we must take pause to look at some of the milestones that have allowed the once popular home movie format to defy obscurity. Now in its 5th decade of Ektachrome 160 packagecontinuous use the mighty 50 foot film cartridge has dodged planned obsolesce which is common in the digital arena. Super 8 has a loyal following, and continues to breathe new life as a professional format. It has been used in thousands of professional projects for major television shows (American Idol, American Horror Story, Aquarius, The Academy Awards) theatrical movies (Super8, The Fighter, Argo, JFK, History of the Eagles) music videos (Paul Abdul, Beyounce, Madonna, Black Eyed Peas, John Mellancamp, Neil Young, Miley Cirrus, Justin Beiber), and commercials for major brands (Target, Nike, Coca Cola, Armani).   Super 8 film has captured the attention of a new generation wanting a more permanent and archival safe format for recording milestones such as weddings and baby’s first steps, as well as filmmakers who want to continue the tradition of shooting films on film. There is an understanding that in our digital world, an analog reel of film is the only proven archival medium. Properly stored, the film will last 100 years!

A Brief History:

May 1965 marks the official introduction of the Super 8 film format,

50th birthday party

which Kodak debuted at the second season of the 1964 New York City Worlds Fair. The genius in the Super 8 system is the unique cartridge loaded film, which could easily be popped into a camera in broad daylight. While many families were beginning to bring home grown cinema into their living rooms as early as the late 1920’s, these first 16mm systems were too expensive for the average middle class family. When regular 8mm came on the scene in 1932, people loved it but research showed that consumers were easily frustrated. It was tricky for the new user to load the film in the dark, shoot off the 25 feet on one side, then go back in the dark, flip it over to the other side and shoot the 25 feet of film on the back side of the roll.

Sheaffer_Headshot_1

From 1965 to 1985 millions of 50-foot reels were shot of everyday life around the world, which today represents a prolific historical archive of the way we lived. This time machine of “in the moment material” at home, abroad, and in the field is one of our most important national treasures, not only for the families whose relatives are forever present on homemoviefamilythose reels shot long ago, but also as cultural and historical evidence of some of the greatest moments in modern history. Increasingly we see this archival footage being used in documentaries such as JFK, Selma, The History of the Eagles, as well as news and history programs showcasing thousands of stories, both well known and obscure.

jfk

super 8 movie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1972, film schools and indie filmmakers started to recognize the tremendous production potential Super 8 film had.   At that time, the focus was on developing sound and editing capabilities. Bob Doyle, Harvard Professor founded Super8 Sound ™ (listen to my interview) During this time the Super 8 Sync Sound Recorders and editing benches were sold to hundreds of college EditingBench

and university film programs. It was a complete studio set up, and a milestone in the professional use of Super 8. These students who learned traditional filmmaking on Super 8 before advancing to 16 or 35 mm helped to evolve the format into professional work as they began working in the film industry.

Bob_Holly

Super 8 Sound Recorder

 

While some of the biggest directors and cinematographers launched there film careers behind the families home movie camera (Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Sam Rami, Ron Howard, Spike Lee) independent and studio filmmakers would shoot Super 8 film on a project given the opportunity that called for the unique look. This was particularly true when shooting flash backs, historical retrospectives, dreams, and what we call the “I’m on drugs” scene.

The evolution of Super 8 going mainstream was often referred to as Pro8LogoBlkPro8logo Hi-RESHollywood’s best-kept secret, and exploded when Pro8mm (formerly Super 8 Sound.  The company moved to California in 1987 and started evolving the use of professional  super 8 into the entertainment industry) introduced a line of professional negative film stocks in 1993. Up until that time, the Kodak film stocks were limited to only reversal film, which was suitable for consumer home movies, but had a limited selection of ISO’s and grain structures. The thought was if we Pro8mm (history of) could convert our slitting machine that we previously used to make the magnetic full coat audiotape for the Super8 Sound Recorders, than we could start slitting 35mm professional film stocks and put them into reloadable cartridges. With in a few months, Pro8mm had a full line of Kodak and Fuji 35mm professional stocks, spooled down to 50 feet and loaded in cartridges so they would work in any Super 8 camera.   We hit the ground running, and for over 20 years Super 8 negative film has been a part of thousand of projects including numerous MTV and VH-1 shows, specials, and videos, including almost every episode of Behind The Music and Where Are They Now?  

During this time, we also started seeing “extreme sports” brands use Super 8 in their commercials and TV shows. Snowboard, Skater Board, Surf Board, and all the associated clothing lines clothing brands such as Vans, Billabong, Volvo, Roxie loved the look of Super 8 negative film which fits perfectly with the popular “grunge” look of the era. This was followed by other big brands in the fashion industry shooting on Super 8 for Fashion Week, or in store promotions, including Calvin Cline, Armani, Victoria’s Secret, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Tori Burch, Minnetonka Moccasins, and many more.

 

With so many high profile brands and shows creating projects on Super 8 film during the 90’s, there was no longer the strong association of super 8 as being amateur home movie format. This was accelerated by the progression in scanning technology which continued to fuel the acceptance of Super 8 as a competitive force for studios and independent filmmakers. With better film stocks that were intended for transfer to digital, the power of Kodak Vision Film (1,2, and now 3) and Fuji Vivid, Eterna and Reala scanned on a professional flying sport scanner to a codec such as Pro Res in 1920 x 1080 HD, and now to 2K and beyond, the Power of Super 8 Film

Was unstoppable. The footage could use the same workflow as digital productions and could be easily edited in with program such as Final Cut Pro.

 

Another milestone Pro8mm came up with in 2001 was to expand the gate of the camera so that you could shoot a super 8 image 16 x 9. Called Max8

Max 8 is the expansion of the camera gate that changes the aspect ration from

4: 3 to 16: 9. We also recenter the optics of the camera. This feature allows you to insert Super 8 film footage in an HD workflow at the correct widescreen configuration. We also have3 a custom Max 8 gate for our scanner, so you can shoot 16: 1 and scan 16: 9. This eliminates cropping or curtains on the side of the frame. This does for Super 8 what Super 16mm did for the traditional 16mm film format – a modern application of analog film, keeping it viable in modern workflows.

 

The future of Super 8 film remains strong. This year a brand new Super 8 camera was introduced to the market. Logmar

 

Logmar-full (1)

Logmar DIGICANICAL Super 8 camera 2015

Camera Solutions of Demark has brought to market a brand new camera built from the ground up. (listen to my interview with the Logmar team) Currently still in Beta Testing with 40 users world wide, it Is a digicanical Super 8 camera. Features such as

  • Pin registration & dedicated pressure plate
  • Crystal synchronized frame rates from 6fps to 48fps
  • Stereo audio recording on SD-CARD as well as true XLR 48V Phantom power.
  • WiFi remote control via iPad, iPhone or Android
  • Digital viewfinder with low light CCD sensor and video output for external monitor
  • Programmable “Function button” for: Phase Advance, Alternate speed, Rule of thirds grid etc.
  • Firmware upgradable (future proof) via standard USB connector.
  • 200ft custom reloadable cartridge option

 

This is a game changer for anyone who loves shooting Super 8 Film!

Here is a list of some current projects shot on Super 8 film or in production.

We will be highlighting these projects over the next year in a series called

 

50 Years, 50 Feet, 50 Voices

 DO A SHOT PROGRAM  (since 2012 we have put about 1,000 people through the program who have never shot on Super 8 before) http://www.doashotwithpro8mm.com/

Monsanto Years (Neil Young) http://pitchfork.com/news/59348-neil-young-announces-monsanto-themed-lp-recorded-with-willie-nelsons-sons/ )

Second Coming of Russell Brand (filmmaker Ondi Timoner; opened SXSW 2015 .  Super 8 insert shots in London) http://www.brandthefilm.com/

Montage of Heck – Kurt Cobain  (Brett Morgan, producer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiCkJyeB0Vw

American Idol ( Owen Smith) Many behind the scenes shots

American Horror Stories (Michael Goi /James Chressanthis)

Minnetonka Moccasins Commercial https://vimeo.com/70003793

I Saw The Light http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3789828/

Marshall Head Phones Commerical https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85WAwbwkPIs

Tory Burch Commercial  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYwOY16mrec

 

 

 

Aquarius  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3768572/

 

Jessie Jo Stark (music video) Monster Party http://jessejostark.com/videos,4.html

 

No Entrerence (music video ) https://vimeo.com/79759407

 

Rebel; (James Franco) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1961476/

 

Spike Lee (many projects) 2015 music video for pepsi with Kelly Rowlands super 8 cut into the digital https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59aUxXn-BO4#t=15

 

It’s About You: John Mellencamp (Kurt and Ian Marcus)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqUrmGmLXIE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Throw Your Films Away- Bring Them To Home Movie Day!

Listen to the podcast: http://bit.ly/1vo2NmX

With my guests Snowden Becker : Co-founder of Home Movie Day ; Kate Dollenmayer: Host LA Event/Archivist Wende Museum; Terry Lagler: Host Whitby, Ontario Canada Event

http://www.centerforhomemovies.org/hmd/

Home Movie Day is an international celebration of home movies and amateur cinema.

This week on The Home Movie Legacy Project our show was about Home Movie Day, an event that happens every October in celebration of personal films, local history, revisiting eras gone by and amateur filmmaking. The event provides an opportunity for families to screen their films, learn some basic preservation tips and how to access and share their home movies  so that they may be enjoyed!

With over 87 venues in 19 countries on 4 continents last year, Home Movie Day has grown each year from its initial slate of two dozen locations across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Japan in 2003. Most events will be occurring on October 18th worldwide. Some venues will have their events earlier or later in October, November or December.

The Los Angeles Event will be held at the Goethe-Institute Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100
L.A. CA, 90036located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile. The public is encouraged to bring 8mm, Super 8 mm, 16mm and VHS. Drop off your media @ 11 AM. See   your film projected on the big screen noon – 4.

7PM – Watch Eastern European Home Movies from the Wende Museum with Live Music!

Hosted by Kate Dollenmayer, audiovisual archivist at the Wende Museum.

“Home movies provide invaluable records of our families and our communities: they document vanished storefronts, questionable fashions, adorable pets, long-departed loved ones, and neighborhoods in transition. Many people still possess these old reels or tapes, passed down from generation to generation, but lack the projection equipment to view them properly and safely,” stated Skip Elsheimer, president of the Center for Home Movies. “That’s where Home Movie Day comes in: the public brings the films, and volunteers inspect them, project them, and offer tips on storage, preservation, and video transfer—and free of charge, in most cities. And best of all, you get to watch them with an enthusiastic audience, equally hungry for local history,” added Elsheimer.

The Center for Home Movies is a nonprofit organization supported through grants and donations. CHM’s primary mission is to promote, preserve and educate the public about amateur films. To learn more about CHM, visit www.centerforhomemovies.org.

For information on the nearest Home Movie Day venue near you, visit www.centerforhomemovies.org/locations2014

 

 

:

 

 

The Last Shot For Film? – Maybe Not ! – with Phil Vigeant

phillastshotIMG_0149

No matter if you shoot on film or video, every media maker will get something out of this amazing interview with Phil Vigeant, Is it The Last Shot For Film?

Listen to the Podcast http://bit.ly/1xq1Psc

There is no arguing that media creators are producing a staggering amount of digital media on their Go Pros, iphones and Black Magic or Sony 4K digital camera.

Yet, Pro8mm, the world leaders in the innovative use of Super 8 film is the busiest it has been in years. With major indie production companies such as Radical Media, MJZ, 44 Blue and 3 Horses and a Mule, and Interloper Pictures initiating new Super 8 film projects, newbie’s are flocking to try their hand at analog filmmaking with the easy to use, cost efficient Super 8 format.

The question then becomes is there a resurgence in the interest to shoot on film because of its proven archival capacity, or, are hipsters and the Millenniums wanting to shoot film before it’s gone?

This interview, full of what I like to call “Philmisms” by Pro8mm president Phil Vigeant offers an opportunity for us to think about the future of film. Like Stephen Spielberg, JJ Abrams and so many other backyard filmmakers who threw out the camera manuals and just experimented to see what worked and what didn’t, the next generation of analog lovers will have the opportunity to experiment and learn the film craft based on over 100 years of motion picture technology.

 

I believe it’s not the “last shot” for film, but the “best shot” for lovers of celluloid, new opportunities for entrepreneurs who can emerge from the shadows of Kodak and Panavision.

 

Can Home Movies Help with Dignity Therapy and Palative Care?

Can Home Movie Help with Dignity Therapy and Palative Care?

Listen To The Interview http://bit.ly/1p5VdG3

 

Listen to my interview and learn about palative care, dignity therapy and home movies

Listen to my interview and learn about palative care, dignity therapy and home movies

 

I recently had the opportunity to interview Carol Weeks Bright Future Hypnotherapy   Carole Weeks is a Certified Hypnotherapist, a graduate of The Hypnotherapy Motivation Institute, in Reseda, California. Her practice is located in Sierra Madre, California . She works with clients who have a range of needs for improvement in their lives.  In addition, she has trained with Dr. Harvey Cochinov in Dignity Therapy. Dignity Therapy is a palliative care intervention. Through an interview using a standardized interview protocol a legacy document is created with an individual at the end of their life. The document is the result of an interview using a standardized interview protocol that has been developed and researched by Dr. Cochinov and his research team at the University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada. The client presents the final document to his loved ones.

Find out who can benefit from creating this legacy document and the benfits of hyponotherapy as it related to life changed.  I feel that in conjunction with a person looking at their home movies, this additional work in Dignity Therapy will help people feel like they matter, and certainly, help their families gain a deeper level of understanding and compassion about their loved one.

HEALING THROUGH HOME MOVIES with the help of Transformational Education

 

Can home movies mend a broken heart?

Can home movies mend a broken heart?

  © Rhonda Vigeant 2014 Listen to the Replay of the podcast http://bit.ly/1p7zWkb   Meet my Expert Guest: Brittany Vigeant

Brittany is a coach with Momentum Education

Brittany is a coach with Momentum Education

Recently, a friend of mine who has been divorced for several years asked me if I would transfer her Wedding Video, so she could watch it on a modern playback medium. She felt it was time to give some closure to this part of her life and she wanted to look with fresh eyes and new life experiences back to her wedding day. She was moving to a new place, getting rid of old clothes, massively purging, and getting ready to change careers. She wisely thought that by watching the wedding video she would be able to gain some additional momentum to move forward as she began this next chapter. When she visited me, about two months later I asked her if she watched the movie. “No”, she said. “I’m not ready”. I thought about this for a minute, without attaching any particular meaning or judgement. I remembered all the clients I had worked with over the years who had also been resistant to watch old home movies. The fear of not knowing what is on the reels manifests itself in the cycle of desire to know and confusion about dealing with emotional scares from the people who have hurt us. Lets face it. There is a lot of pain in the past. We push the hurt way down, until something triggers a memory, and that old stuff comes up. We use imagery to play the tapes in our mind. We rewind them in our head. We press play. We feel the hurt. We hit eject. But the stories are still there. But what if those old tapes aren’t right? What if they are just stories we made up to help us cope? What if we had new evidence that we could extract from a time machine that could capture “life in the moment” and when we revisited it, it revealed new information, more details, or allowed us the opportunity to give new meaning because WE are a different person that we were when the moment was recorded? What if this “time machine we call “HOME MOVIES helped us heal from the hurt, let go of our fear, or allowed us to attach new meaning? What if they challenged everything we believed (up until now) and gave us new insight, so we could shift our focus, transform our understanding, and move forward in our life? What if we could forgive fuller, and clean up a mess or misunderstanding with an ex-spouse, family member or friend. We could have a breakthrough – an ah-ha moment that would allow us to become “unstuck”, and live more joyful, authentic and grateful lives. We could heal and we could forgive. THE POWER OF HOME MOVIES… “Images act as shortcuts to our brains, and that is why visuals are so powerful”     – Ekaterina Walter This is exactly what happens when you watch a home movie. These films are the most organic form of physical evidence we have. Our body language, posture, eye contact, facial expressions, shyness or tenacity are all captured , frame by frame. We see how the people in the film treat each other. Like magic, we are back in the moment! People are constantly looking for ways to heal from pain and hurt. We make use of various types of therapy, imagery, regression, hypnosis.   We try to access memories that have been blocked and even when we do , how do we know those memories accurately recall the way it happened? In my podcast today, Brittany and I discuss how working in the adult contemporary domains can help you have ah-ha’s where you might be getting stuck in the past.  A powerful interview you won’t want to miss!  http://bit.ly/1p7zWkb

For Lifes Posibilities

For Lifes Posibilities

Momentum Education: https://www.momentumeducation.com/     Register For a Workshop in NewYork or Los Angeles

Film Storage Wars – Part 2

Film Storage Wars Part 2 – The Value of Cold Vault Storage with Ken Smith From Pacific Title

Listen to the replay of my interview with Ken Smith, Director of Client Services   http://bit.ly/1saBppK

For more tips on archiving and preservation go to www.homemovielegacy.com

Every family has the option to store their original home movies in a professional vault at a consumer friendly price

Every family has the option to store their original home movies in a professional vault at a consumer friendly price

 

Often times people don’t give much thought about best ways to store their analog media shot on film. If your like many people, your old home movies are in shoeboxes or cartons stored in the attic, basement, or – somewhere. If film is stored properly, meaning away from extreme heat, wet, humidity and dampness, in can last over 100 years. By taking some simple ( and relatively inexpensive steps) you cans tore your private home movies in a Hollywood Vault, right next to

Iconic TV shows. This will slow down the biological decay of film, such as Vinegar Syndrome (when your film starts to smell like an old salad) shrinkage, curling, becoming dry, brittle and cracked, giving it an opportunity to be their for your descendants.

 

While we always want digital copies in the cloud (Film Storage Wars Part 1), on our hard drives, or even DVD’s, we must protect the original analog material from the elements and natural disasters. Whatever formats may prevail in the future; you always want to create a new digital master fro the original film.

 

Pacific Title and Archives in Hollywood is a fantastic facility that allows private clients to purchase space in their climatically controlled, archival safe film fault. Away from the elements, including fire, flood, and earthquake. It is EXTREMELY affordable. Listen to my interview with Ken Smith, Director of Client Services to find out about the benefits of storing your precious home movies securely with Pacific Title and Archives

For more tips on archiving and preservation go to www.homemovielegacy.com

 

 

 

 

 

The “REEL” Truth About Transferring Home Movies To DVD

A DVD is just too unstable for your precious home movies

One of the things that most people don’t consider or understand about having all their home movie media on film and tape transffered to a DVD is that they have done nothing to preserve their legacy for future generations.  While DVD’s are a convenient play back format, transferring  original material to a DVD is just making  a low quality copy from your master.  Even “GOLD” DVD’s are just a marketing scheme and are not infinitely  more stable than any other type of DVD.

4gig of Home Movies

Most people are surpirsed when I tell them  DVD is a low quality copy of their original.  It is like you had an original Picasso  painting for example.  But instead of framing your Picasso, you took a photocopy on your home photocopier, framed it, hung it on the wall, and rolled up the original or even worse, through it away.  The copy will never be as good or as detailed  in this example, because that is the quality that the photcopier can render. It is a watered down versio no f the original.  Get it? It is the exact same with your film and tapes.

 

 

A DVD will not be the common playback format of the future.  We have already lived through the demise of film projectors, VHS players, etc, and the future obsolescence of DVD is inevitable.

Another thing people often don’t think about is that you  can not easily edit a DVD.   One of the things people often feel anxious about before they transfer their films is getting things in the correct chronological order.  This is a

challenge, because unless the date and event is written on the reel or tape , we might not know what is on it, and we no longer have the correct playback machine for that kind of film and tape.

 

Today, most computers have easy to use editing programs where you can cut and paste snippets or “golden nuggets” together to tell a compelling story.  These tools make it so easy and fun to be “head of your own studio” so you can bring the past into your digital life and share on social media, create a YouTube Channel , watch on your iPad or any smart device.  Try doing that with a  DVD.  After all, editing is why people love watching a good movie.  Take out the slow, boring and blurry parts so we can focus into the good parts.

 

A couple of years ago, my aunt and uncle “downsized” from their family home to a condo complex for seniors.   Proudly, my uncle showed me his new media center beautifully built into a bookcase.  He had always been an audio and media buff and bought the best of the best.  In this cabinet he had a player for Mini-dv tapes, a Hi-8 tape player, a VHS player, a DVD player and a Blu-ray disk player – all top of the line, all brand new. He said, “I’m so glad you put all of Papa’s films on DVD a few years ago.  There would be no room for a projector!”

 

I looked at him and complimented him on the beautiful new equipment.  Then I shared with him the information below, which made his jaw drop!

 

 

HAIL TO THE HARD DRIVE – EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING

 

Today, the hard drive changes it all.  We can migrate all our home movie media onto a portable hard drive.  The price of the drives keeps going down, and the storage capacity keeps going up.

 

This can be a challenging concept to get across to people, even really smart people like my uncle.  The hard drive has eliminated our need to have so many machines to playback our media on.

 

The process that accomplishes this migration of many formats onto a hard drive is accomplished is actually quite simple. The benefit is that now all your different mediums are speaking the same language!

 

 

HOW IT’S DONE

 

In order to properly archive and preserve your home movie you have to create a  Digital Master.  This allows you to repurpose the material in many fantastic ways.  The process  by which this is  accomplished  so that  all your formats are on one device and speaking the same language is actually quite simple.

 

  • All your different formats are transferred as data files by a company offering that service.
  • Then, these new files are downloaded by that service provider  onto the hard drive.
  • The hard drive is plugged in to your computer.
  • The files show up on the device as play lists. One file for each reel of film or videotape.
  • Simply click on the one you want to watch.
  • Files can be downloaded to your computer or uploaded to the Internet. You can watch the files on any of our modern playback devices, including our TV, ipad, or smart phone or streamed over the internet.

 

The conversion to data files  should be done by a company that specializes in this type of work and  uses state of the art HD equipment that does not compromise the integrity of the original material .  Sadly, lots of companies, both big box and mom and pops are doing work on terrible equipment that can potentially damage you film.  You also want to make sure the files are HD files  (commonly referredto as a CODEC) such as Pro Res , not low quality FTP files.  If they files are small enough that they can be emailed to you, than the quality is low enough that it is inferior  to what the original material looked like.

 

 

As consumers, we are getting used to the idea that we will probably get a new computer or cell phone every few years.  We have the mindset of, “I’m getting the latest version and keeping up with technology.”

 

This is also true of hard drives.  The price of the drives keeps going down and storage capacity goes up. Migrating your media that is already in a data file format to another hard drive every few years is fast, cheap and easy; just the cost of another drive. There is no loss in quality when you migrate the data digitally from one drive to another because you are keeping it in the same form, and you will never have to re-transfer the material.  That is a crucial point.

 

For more tips like these, check out my website www.homemovielegacy.com  Rhonda Vigeant